Shaun White Slammed By Fellow Snowboarders For Slopestyle Exit

02/10/2014 02:59 am ET | Updated Feb 10, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Shaun White's decision to bail on the new slopestyle event at the Winter Games isn't winning him any friends.

Rivals from other nations were quick to call him out on Twitter. And now, even some of White's fellow Americans are starting to pile on because at least two other snowboarders believe his late decision cost them a spot at Sochi.

Kyle Mack, a 15-year-old snowboarder, thinks he could've been a contender.

But Mack may not have earned enough points in international events to get an Olympic nod, The New York Times reports, meaning 18-year-old Brandon Davis could have been on a plane to Russia.

And he's not happy about it either.

It just kind of sucks,” Davis told Time.

"It’s not necessarily an easy process. It’s kind of stressful," he was quoted as saying. "Then to come in fifth and then realize I was one of the guys close to having a spot, and then Shaun goes out there and drops out, it’s kind of a bummer.”

White says quitting the event was about safety. During practice runs, there was a broken collarbone, a concussion and dozens of lesser injuries. Even White jammed his wrist on a practice run before backing out, saying he wanted to make sure he's healthy for his signature event, the half pipe.

But critics say he was afraid to lose, and a loss could hurt his marketing power.

Davis says an Olympic spot could've made his own career. But he's trying not to be too hard on White.

"I do feel bad for him in the sense, he’s getting so much backlash for what he’s doing. I don’t believe he deserves it that harsh ... The whole snowboarding community doesn’t really like Shaun," Davis told Time. "But ultimately, he is the face of our sport, there’s not point in hating on him so hard. He’s the hardest working guy in our sport. And he certainly deserves respect.”

Team USA's Sage Kotsenburg won the gold medal in slopestyle for the men, while fellow American Jamie Anderson earned gold on the women's side.

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